Readers of Cool Outdoor Toys already know Radio Flyer makes more than just their iconic red wagons. But, did you know they made balance bikes. In fact, they make three different ones which are available in several different colors too.
The Glide & Go Balance Bike is our choice for the best budget-friendly balance bike for toddlers!
The Glide and Go is more of a series of balance bikes than a single product. Families have three different pedaless bike styles to choose from and each model offers something slightly different. And, two of the models offer a choice of colors.
All three models weigh less than 10 pounds and are designed to carry riders up to 50 pounds. All of them have adjustable seats so that they can grow with your child.
The Classic Glide & Go Balance Bike has a wooden frame and air-filled tires.
The Glide & Go Balance Bike with Air Tires has a steel frame with air-filled tires.
The Glide & Go Balance Bike has a steel frame with foam tires.
Be careful when purchasing one of these pedaless bikes online. According to the Radio Flyer website, the proper names of each model are Glide & Go Balance Bike, Classic Glide & Go Balance Bike and Glide & Go Balance Bike with Air Tires. The Classic name is where we noticed some inconsistencies. In some cases, the seller was correctly referring to the wooden model but some sellers are incorrectly referring to the Glide & Go Balance Bike in Radio Flyer’s iconic red paint as the Classic.
Classic Glide & Go Wooden Radio Flyer Balance Bike
If you’re looking for a true classic style, the wooden version of the Glide & Go just might be perfect. It is however, the most expensive of the Radio Flyer balance bikes. It is offered with natural colored wood with red features or natural colored wood with pink features.
What surprised us is that Radio Flyer included the air tires on this model. Some manufacturers, who make wooden riding toys, do seem to expect their toys will be used primarily indoors. The air-filled tires provide a better grip and nicer ride on uneven surfaces like lawns and public riding trails.
Reviews were a little mixed on the weather hardiness of the wooden Radio Flyer balance bike. We did see one complete fail of the wooden components, however, the bike was replaced by Radio Flyer. Consensus seemed to be that families were happy overall with this toy’s durability – unless, of course, your child leaves it where the family car or truck can run it over. We do think that any wooden toy, when used outside, should be given a little extra care. Leaving wooden toys out in the rain or leaving mud or other wet debris on them can impact the finish and potentially damage the wood.
The seat is adjustable. However, you are slightly limited by the wooden construction to three different positions. We doubt that is a huge issue, but, the other two models allow for a more precise fit. This model offers a slightly shorter seat to floor measurement and is a little smaller overall. If your child is a little small for their age, this model might be a better choice.
We like the soft touch rubber hand grips. They have the largest end caps of the 3 Radio Flyer balance bikes. If your little one will primarily be using their bike indoors, these larger rubber grips might better protect small hands from falls and being pinched by tight turns through doorways. Not to mention, they add a little extra protection for your woodwork and furniture.
Families reported it took only around 15 minutes to fully assemble this balance bike and Radio Flyer had supplied the needed tools – a pair of Allen wrenches.
Glide & Go Radio Flyer Balance Bike with Air Tires
This version of the Glide & Go Radio Flyer Balance Bike is a few dollars cheaper than the wooden version. It still has the air-filled tires and it also comes with a bicycle bell.
This Glide & Go Radio Flyer balance bike has an adjustable seat on a steel frame.
The end of the handlebar grips are designed to protect little hands from bumps and scrapes like they did with the wooden model. However, they are unfortunately, noticeably smaller.
Some assembly is required and you’ll need an adjustable wrench. The tires are already inflated and ready for riding.
Glide & Go Balance Bike (Traction Tread Foam Tires)
The foam tires help bring the cost of this model down by around $20 from the other two Radio Flyer balance bikes. Additionally, the Traction Tread tires eliminate almost 3 pounds from the overall weight.
While all of the Radio Flyer balance bikes are among the most budget-friendly balance bikes available, this one might be the best budget-friendly balance bike available. Just keep in mind, solid foam tires do not have the same level of grip. They’re fine for floor, sidewalks, driveways and other flatly-paved surfaces but may slip on gravel, sand and other uneven surfaces.
Again, the handlebar end caps on this model are smaller than with the wooden version. They still provide some protection for little hands, just not as much.
This model is available in pink, red and silver but the pink model can be harder to find.